A Day of Celebration

Saturday we celebrated Sarge’s 14th Birthday. Because we have no children, dogs in our house get full blown birthday parties. Sarge was no exception. Nola has had two so far, so I’ve learned some ways to make the day special for the four legged birthday boy.DSC_0045First, we started off the day with a walk on the beach. It’s been so hot and humid here lately that the dogs haven’t had much time outdoors. Sarge seemed to enjoy the release of energy running in the sand and wading in the water. When we got home, the dogs had breakfast and then enjoyed some of the Mr.’s breakfast ham.DSC_0971 DSC_0972It was still really hot on Saturday, so Sarge and Nola napped most of the afternoon. I officially gave him his cupcake stuffie (I gave it to him for a few minutes when we did our pre-birthday photoshoot) and he chomped on it and then fell asleep.DSC_0029 DSC_0048Dinnertime marked the real celebration. I decorated the table and laid out Sarge’s presents. DSC_0988 DSC_0994(You’ll notice two of each present. That’s because with two dogs in the house, I felt like I couldn’t get Sarge something and not get Nola something too, except collars…Nola has a million of those and Sarge only has one so it was time for another!)

He got a three foot bully stick (bullies are his fave!)…DSC_0057the aforementioned cupcake stuffie….DSC_0044and a new collar!DSC_0016 DSC_0022The bully stick was by far his favorite thing. Instead of starting at one end, he decided to start chewing right in the middle. It was so cute seeing him try to walk through the door with it! He eventually gnawed all the way through and then had two! DSC_0060 DSC_0080He, and Nola, also got Frosty Paws and the Mr. and I enjoyed some cake.DSC_0068 DSC_0064Sarge was too busy chewing his bully and didn’t want to come outside to blow out the candles, so we brought the cake to him.DSC_0071(Notice the photo-bomb by Nola in the pic above.)

DSC_0076All in all it was a great day. The Mr. and I just wanted to make double, triple sure that Sarge knew this was a special day and that we love him very much. And so, the best way to accomplish that was with the one present that I didn’t lay out on the table:sargecontractSarge’s adoption contract! July 20 will now be his Gotcha Day and his Birthday! We are all very happy to add Sarge as the 4th member of the family. It was a great day of celebration for everyone!DSC_0063Well, except Nola, who didn’t seem impressed by any of it (except the parts that involved food) and spent most of the time like this:DSC_0028More on the adoption tomorrow!

Message in a Bottle

While we were at the beach last week during our time off for the 4th, the Mr. noticed something floating in the water not too far out. He tried to get Nola to swim and get it, but she just looked at him like “You want me to go where?” Nola loves to be in the water, but she doesn’t really swim unless someone goes in with her. So, I took off my shoes and rolled up my pants to try to coax her to go retrieve the mystery object. Once I got in to about mid-thigh she swam out, grabbed it, and swam back to shore. It was a message in a bottle!
IMG_4366 IMG_4364As Nola investigated the bottle, I couldn’t help but think of what the message would say. Would it be a love note from someone searching for their long lost love? Would it be an SOS message from someone on a deserted island? Would it be from somewhere far away? My mind was filled with romantic and whimsical possibilities.
IMG_4369 IMG_4370 IMG_4368We opened the bottle once we got home, and this is what it said:

Date: June 29, 2013
This bottle was dropped off near Prout’s Neck, Maine in the United States. If you find this bottle please send me a letter stating where and when this bottle was found. This is a science project that I came up with for school to study the ocean currents so that you for your help.

It certainly wasn’t any of my romantic fantasies, but instead was just a science project. Turns out, we found the bottle only one day after it was dropped off. Prout’s Neck is the name of a peninsula in Scarborough, Maine. We were at Ferry Beach on the left side of the map (where is says beach) when we discovered the bottle. So it seems it didn’t travel too far before we found it.
place-detail-map.phpIt was still a cool thing to find, and it made our day feel a little more adventurous. When I send a response back I am going to include a photo of Nola and a note letting him know that she was the one who discovered the bottle.
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Hanging Around

The Mr. has been wanting a hammock for a while now. I have had my eye on an L.L. Bean one, but when you add the stand and shipping costs, it had a price tag of over $400 and I just couldn’t pull the trigger. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago when the Mr. took his mom to Christmas Tree Shoppe (not his favorite place to go, but he’s a good son!), he found one with a stand for only $99! After we set it up and tried it out, Nola decided she would like to test it too.
DSC_0918DSC_0944Turns out, it has now become her favorite place to lay. It takes a little bit of work to keep the hammock still when she gets up, but once she settles in, she falls right asleep!
DSC_0948I think she also likes that it is high off the ground, which means Sarge can only get so close.
DSC_0924 DSC_0912Of course, we only let her up on the hammock when we are around to supervise. We wouldn’t want her to get hurt jumping on or off!
DSC_0936I was never a big hammock person, but after sharing one with my favorite pup (shhh, don’t tell Sarge), I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a summer afternoon.
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Look What the Cat Dragged In!

It’s been a long time since my last post. There’s really no one reason, just a million little ones. I recently heard somewhere (and by somewhere, I mean on one of those addicting “Real Housewives” shows on Bravo), “The longer you are away from something, the easier it gets to live without it.” I don’t want to live without the blog, because I love it, it’s just so easy to find other things to do with my free time. This also means that I have been very bad at my blog reading. I apologize for any of you who think I have been snubbing you. It’s not that at all! I miss reading all ‘my’ blogs as much as I do writing this one! But, alas, I am back and have a TON of things to write about (and a TON to catch up on from all of you!).

I’ll try to get you up to speed quickly and then get back on track with regular postings.

Things with Sarge are going well. The “Ottoman Empire” has fallen, and he is officially sleeping in our bed. After his five day streak when we first introduced the ottoman, he started to try to climb on the bed and we spent all night trying to prevent him from climbing up. We could have been more strict, I guess, but honestly, for me the more dogs in the bed the better. Nola protested at first, and would jump down every time Sarge came near her on the bed, but now she settles on one side of me and stay as long as he is not touching her. Recently, she has even allowed his paw to ever so slightly touch her leg.
snuggleWe haven’t received any applications or even inquiries about Sarge. It’s so frustrating because I know the only reason that he is being overlooked is his age. He is such an easy and wonderful dog, I wish I could get people to look past the number on his profile. He did great at the book signing with Ken Foster, and although we didn’t get any applications for him, BURN contacted me and said someone made a donation to the rescue in his name after meeting him.
sarge curled upNola is taking an advanced Noseworks class, which introduces her to searching for a specific odor. I am excited to give her some alone time doing something she loves! The class also allows me to work with her on some mat training. It is my goal this summer to teach her that when her purple (of course!) mat is out, it means she needs to lay down and chill on it. At class she is usually too interested in the other dogs taking their turns and will not sit or lay down. Now, she is doing much better and now settles in quickly when it is not her turn. I hope to be able to translate this to other places where I need her to just ‘chill.’
nola odor classSo that’s pretty much it. The Mr. and I have been doing lots of traveling, not together unfortunately, so there hasn’t been a whole lot going on other than the normal schedule of working, dog walking and everyday life. It’s also been unusually hot and humid for June in Maine, so we’ve had to spend a lot of time inside in the air conditioning.
couch insideI have a few days off coming up because of the 4th of July holiday, so I promise to be better at posting. Hope you all have a wonderful Independence Day!

Squishy, Tuggy and Flirty

No, those aren’t the names of three more dwarfs. These are the words that describe our new found love of Squishy Face Studio’s Flirt Pole and Super Tug toy. We won the Flirt Pole and Super Tug bundle a couple months ago during And Foster Makes Five’s giveaway. Since this winter has been particularly snowy, even for Maine, we haven’t had a chance to use our prizes until now!
DSC_0611And the verdict is, Nola loves them! I wish we could use the flirt pole to have Nola jump more vertically, but since her ACL injury we have to keep the jumping to a minimum. Even so, she loves chasing things, so just going around the back yard tires her out.
DSC_0631 DSC_0628Nola has ‘drop it’ down to a science, so playing this game with her is so much fun. She has to sit before she can chase and then I let her catch it and she drops it. Occasionally she keeps her foot on the fleece part, just to prove to me that she got it.

DSC_0625It took her a bit longer to get the feel for the Super Tug toy. I had to demonstrate what to do and then entice her to grab the end. But once she got the hang of it, she loved it too!
DSC_0664 DSC_0660 DSC_0651 DSC_0643The way she sticks her little bum up in the air and wags her nubby tail as she pulls makes me giggle every time.
DSC_0654(I tried to play with Sarge too, but he wasn’t interested. He tends to leave the chasing and tugging to the youngin’ while he enjoys eating his bully stick.)
DSC_0488Squishy Face Studio’s toys are super durable and great quality. The flirt pols is one million times better than anything I could make on my own! I love that it has a bungee cord instead of a rope. It helps prevent the feeling of a sudden snap when Nola grabbed the fleece. The handle is nicely lined with a non slip grip that was easy to hold on to. Nola liked chasing the braided Fleece Toss lure because it had floppy ends, but they also have the option of getting one with Zanies Bungee Gecko with squeakers, or you can even use your dog’s favorite toy!
flirtThe ‘marine grade’ bungee cord and metal fasteners on the Super Tug toy seem like they will hold up against even the strongest pullers (man, if only I had found about these toys when we had Anna!) It was easy to install and the strap was plenty big enough to fit around the trees in our yard.
tugNola and I love both of these products and would highly recommend them to anyone who’s dog loves to chase and/or play tug! They are a great option to change up your dog’s exercise routine and keep them mentally and physically stimulated (and exhausted).
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